How to nurture small-balance borrower relationships and create clients for life
Is your commitment to quick closings keeping you from creating lifelong client relationships? In today’s competitive mortgage industry, many originators adopt a purely transactional mindset when marketing their services. But taking the time to educate your clients and provide solutions that truly meet their needs can give you the ultimate edge over your competition – while they’re focusing only on transactions, you can nurture relationships and build the trust that keeps clients coming back for every refinance.
Do you know the specific mortgage needs of small-balance commercial borrowers?
What do commercial mortgage brokers sacrifice when they focus solely on closing deals? For one, they run the risk of misunderstanding their clients’ situations and needs. In the small-balance commercial arena alone, originators are unlikely to ever see the same exact scenario twice – borrowers have different credit histories, timetables, property types, documentation issues, and more. With all this variance in mind, how can originators justify sending their deals to lenders based on nothing more than loan size or time to close?
For instance, consider the owner of a mixed-use property who can’t produce tax returns and is subsequently turned down by her local bank. If your goal is simply to provide the fastest solution for your clients, you may steer the borrower to a hard money lender and provide a short-term, temporary solution that includes a high interest rate. If you focused instead on nurturing your relationship, you could discover that while she can’t produce the necessary tax returns, she can provide a year’s worth of bank statements that prove her business’ stability. You could then take advantage of a bank statement program that allows her to secure a long-term solution with a more favorable rate. It may take a little longer to identify this type of information, but by the end of the transaction you’ll have created a customer for life.
Is your marketing strategy geared toward creating lifelong customers?
This kind of thinking has implications that go beyond your one-on-one interactions with clients. In fact, it could be that focusing on nurturing your client relationships requires a recalibration of your entire marketing strategy. But what would that look like, and how could you make a change like that while running your business at the same time?
First, take a look at the general messaging you use in emails, advertisements, and on your website. If you see a high number of “we” statements – like “we specialize in providing custom solutions” or “we have the experience needed to help you,” then you’re wasting time talking about yourself when you could be engaging your target audience. Instead, make the borrower the hero of your communications. Talk about the opportunities they have to succeed when they work with you. Then expand the story to include all aspects of the relationships you create with clients.
As long as you’re evaluating your messaging tactics, take some time to study the customer journey you’ve established for your business. Do you stop marketing to your audience once they become clients? If so, you could be manufacturing one-off client relationships when you have the opportunity to cultivate repeat business. After all, it’s common for borrowers to refinance their small-balance commercial loans every 5 years – you can close several deals for a commercial borrower in the time it takes for their home mortgage to mature.
Looking for a place to start? Try creating a post-transaction marketing strategy. If you know of any resources that could help new commercial property owners, for instance, this would be a good time to provide additional value. And if you helped a struggling borrower secure a short-term bridge loan, you could use your expertise to position them for a more favorable solution down the road. When it comes time to take out their bridge loan for a longer-term solution, guess who they’ll want to partner with to get the job done?
Creating these types of strategies takes time – fortunately, lenders can help you improve your marketing efforts without taking time away from your business. For example, Silver Hill Funding provides customizable flyers, mailers, and communication scripts designed specifically for small-balance commercial mortgage originators. You can save time and money by using this collateral while you work to expand your overall messaging strategy. To take advantage of these tools, be sure to download Silver Hill’s free marketing toolkit.
Borrowers don’t just need a broker to close their deal – they need to have confidence that they’re working with an expert who can meet the greatest number of needs over time. If you can prove your value as a solution provider, you’ll find that clients keep coming back to you when it comes time to refinance their small-balance commercial mortgages.